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August 10, 2008 Weblog:

DFAIT ministers: a defector and a senator

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A low profile June 25th federal cabinet shuffle saw David Emerson, a businessperson who was a star candidate for the Liberal Party and crossed the floor into a cabinet post with the Conservatives shortly after the 2006 election, become the minister of foreign affairs.

Montréal banker and Harper appointed senator Michel Fortier (pictured) was moved from minister of public works and government services to minister of international trade.

Christian Paradis became minister of public works and government services.

August 7, 2008 Weblog:

Rae flip-flops over Palestine

OTTAWA, ON- Aug 6th, 2008- what began as a fairly balanced description of the historical record of the creation of Israel in Palestine, quickly became yet another bipartisan speech of the Liberal party. Strongly criticizing Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party’s actions in regard to Israel/Palestine, Liberal Party External Affairs critic Bob Rae failed to provide any concrete actions his own party intends to take.

“It was the emergence of modern Zionism that would set the stage for modern conflict,” He began. His proposed solution to this roughly century-long conflict is “recognition of two states, new governance for Jerusalem, limited right of return, and generous funding of a Palestinian state.”

Contradicting himself several times throughout his speech, Rae paid lip service to the social justice movement while adding to the pile of anti-Iran rhetoric.


“Iran’s president is a holocaust denier and refers to Israel by what can only be described as the most hateful of terms."

“Our role should not be of simple neutrality,” he said, adding, “Our friendship with Israel by no means can be indifferent to the Palestinian claim [for self-governance].” When challenged on his proposed plan of action, he reverted back to mediating and perpetuating the aging peace-process. Meanwhile, he admitted, “I don’t think the process today is particularly transparent.”

He further added to the confusion by concluding “it’s the parties themselves that are going to have to resolve the conflict.”

» continue reading "Rae flip-flops over Palestine"

July 24, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins Demand Justice in Ottawa

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The past month has been a hotbed of indigenous social justice activity in Ottawa. The Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has organized and carried out several actions alongside local organizers and ally groups.

On June 26th, 2008 a dozen Algonquins and supporters occupied the office of MP Lawrence Cannon, Stephen Harper’s Quebec Lieutenant. Cannon is the also the Minister of Transportation and MP Responsible for the Pontiac Region in Quebec, in which Barriere Lake is located.

“We came here today to demand a meeting with the minister,” said Acting Chief Benjamin Nottoway in front of the MP’s office in Buckingham, QC. His demand of the minister was “to call for a leadership reselection in our community. We hope to get a response by today, or we will stay here as long as it takes.”

The aboriginal activists and allies unfortunately could not stay, as by five in the evening they were forced to leave the office. Six were arrested, detained, and released later in the night, greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters.

The chief’s promise to continue putting pressure on the minister was not in vain as on July 16th almost a hundred members of the reserve of 450 came to Ottawa for a three-day protest and camp-out.

We’re here to demand the minister live up to the promise that he made to us,” said former chief Jean-Morice Matchewan. “They never kept one promise that they made to us,” he continued.

» continue reading "Algonquins Demand Justice in Ottawa"

July 22, 2008 Weblog:

Chief of Barriere Lake Speaks

OTTAWA-Located two hours north of Montreal, the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake came to Ottawa to protest government interference in their reserve.
Demanding a meeting with MP Lawrence Cannon and a government-overseeing of governance reselection on their reserve, the community aims to correct a March coup d'etat carried out on their reserve.

The community's Customary Chief, Benjamin Nottoway, speaks with RabbleTV about the recent events on the reserve, the governance difficulties, and the struggle to protect the land.

Terry Matchewan, an Algonquin man who was part of the delegation to Ottawa was attacked alongside four other Algonquin men by Gatineau police and speaks of their targetting and wounds.

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins

OTTAWA- The Barriere Lake Algonquins are once again back in Ottawa for a three day protest. Camping out on Victoria Island, the community, alongside Montreal and Ottawa activists, has organized a panel discussion, a series of protests, marches, and events including a panel discussion, film screening, and poetry show.

Last time the Algonquins came to Ottawa, they peacefully occupied MP Lawrence Cannon's office, demanding the end of a March coup d'etat the government enacted on their reserve.

-----------
Press Release

Friday, July 16, 2008

Algonquins to demonstrate in front of Department of Indian Affairs and march through downtown Ottawa: demand Government of Canada end illegal interference in community governance and oversee new leadership selection

Ottawa, ON / – Algonquins from the Barriere Lake First Nation will end three days of demonstrations in Ottawa by picketing in front of the Department of Indian Affairs in Gatineau at 11:00am and marching through the downtown core at 1:30pm, demanding that the Government oversee a leadership re-selection in accordance with Barriere Lake's customs, and honour its signed agreements with the community.

» continue reading "First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins"

July 2, 2008 Weblog:

Explosive Lamenting

Walking among the smiling, excited crowds, it’s almost possible to forget that we’re at war. It's eerie and bewildering to be so far from it. During the first Gulf War we were sitting in bunkers in gas masks, and even though Haifa was only lightly bombed, it wasn't this removed. Then there's of course suicide bombings, but I refuse to think about that considering the constant carpet bombing Palestinians endure. But in this country, I find so easy to forget that I'm at war. That we're at war in my name. It's easy to forget, that is, until that first firework goes off. Nightfall amazement among half-open mouths, staring into an illuminated sky.

I force myself to keep my eyes open so my brain overrides my mind and reminds me that it is, indeed, just fireworks. Each one, large one, awe-inducing one, sends shivers through me. Each one, large one, forcing me into the foetal position, covering my head with my arms, trying as hard as I can to not twitch every time, fear someone sees. Fear someone sees I’m not enjoying this. Fear someone sees that some of us remember we are at war.

I look at the exploding sky and note the difference. The ground doesn’t shake. There are no fires. The screaming all around is that of joy and not of agony. No ambulances and black smoke in the distance. No anxious speeding of your heart as you hear that screech through the sky with one propelling flame- whisking, zipping up, louder, louder, louder- EXPLOSION.

» continue reading "Explosive Lamenting"

June 24, 2008 Weblog:

McCain visits Ottawa in vain- Footage

On June 21st, 2008, American presidential candidate, Senator John McCain visited Ottawa. Speaking to a packed luncheon at the prestigeous Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the Senator was met coldly both by Ottawa citizens and the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. See Article here

June 21, 2008 Weblog:

McCain visits Ottawa in vain

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OTTAWA- on Friday, June 20th, Senator John McCain visited Ottawa to meet with officials and business representatives. Speaking to a sold out luncheon at the prestigious Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel, Sen. McCain addressed such noteworthy guests as Thomas D’Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Invited by the Economic Club of Toronto, the candidate was met with a vocal and articulate opposition outside hotel’s entrance. A press conference organized by the Council of Canadians outside the main doors saw the attention of such news service agencies as the CBC, the A Channel, and even CNN.

A crowd of roughly 100 protesters from the Student Coalition Against War, No War/Paix, Graduate Students Association of the University of Ottawa, and even Babies Against McCain assembled to show their disdain to the visit. Maude Barlow, president of the Council explained NAFTA and free trade are a major part of the reason for the protest. “We are particularly concerned about three things. One is the energy provisions that disproportionately force us to share our energy with the U.S. The second is water, and the third major issue is that corporations have a right to sue [as individuals] under NAFTA.” If McCain is elected, Ms. Barlow predicts it will be “more of the Bush agenda.” She warns that
the world cannot afford another George [W.] Bush, it cannot afford the presidency of Senator McCain.”

» continue reading "McCain visits Ottawa in vain"

May 31, 2008 Canadian News

Jews for Palestine

Remembering the Nakbah

May 28, 2008 Weblog:

CRTC preparing to regulate the internet

They said they wouldn't do it 1999. And they said it again in 2003. But now the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommmunication Commission is getting set to regulate the internet and they want Canadians to help them set the terms for an upcoming hearing into the matter.

The CRTC is Canada’s federal communications regulator. In 1999, they took the position that the internet was mostly alphanumeric text, not technically sophisticated enough to provide audio and visual content easily, and not of sufficient interest to consumers of audio and visual content to warrant regulation. Well, that’s changed, and regulations are coming. In Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-44, the CRTC has announced a major investigation into the feasibility and scope of regulating content on the internet.

But before they rip open the discussion, they want input from Canadians about what questions to ask -- What areas to focus on? What concerns should get priority? For example, should questions about net neutrality be raised?

This is a chance to have legislation put into place that will protect net neutrality.

The Commission wants to know if the upcoming hearing should ask questions like:

Are there practices that effect distribution of and access to Canadian new media broadcasting?

Is the new media broadcasting environment contributing sufficiently to the achievement of the broadcasting policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act?

Who are the relevant stakeholders in the creation and distribution of Canadian programming in the new media environment?

» continue reading "CRTC preparing to regulate the internet"

May 22, 2008 Weblog:

Rally on Parliament Hill for Net Neutrality

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Canadians outraged by the slow strangling of the internet are invited to share their outrage with the Parliament of Canada on May 27th.

The Net Neutrality Rally will demand legislation to protect the internet from predatory practices like traffic shaping and data management, and to encourage transparency among ISP companies.

Transportation assistance is available -- check out the Net Neutrality Rally website for more details.

This is an important first step in the battle to save the internet -- a strong showing at this rally could be the beginning of legislative protection for net neutrality in Canada.

For more info on the net neutrality movement in Canada, check out savethenet.ca.

April 29, 2008 Weblog:

CUPW joins BDS Palestinian Solidarity Campaign

Last week, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers became the first national north american labour organization to join the international boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign against the state of Israel. Strangely, this has yet to hit the media in Canada, even though the resolution in support of the campaign was passed democratically at the CUPW convention more than two weeks ago. The 54,000 member union joins such prominent labour organizations as the 770,000 member Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the 1.5 million-member Congress of South African Trade Unions, the 800,000 strong UK Transport and General Workers Union, and a growing list of others including CUPE Ontario. Nevertheless, expect editorial tireless screeds within Canadian newspapers against CUPW's membership in the weeks ahead.

Also of interest: Tadamon! statement of congratulations to CUPW.

April 27, 2008 Weblog:

Can Sac CANSEC?

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"Do you know why they're protesting?!" yells a business man in a perfectly ironed suit. His screaming is just barely audible over the chanting and yelling of the demonstrators and police.

"They are protesting CANSEC!" I explain.

"What's CANSEC?" he asks, as I prepare for my now memorized rebuttal: "CANSEC is Canada's largest arms fair. This is the tenth year of it taking place but because it was banned from all City of Ottawa property in 1991, it now takes place at the Ottawa Congress Centre, which is technically provincial property."

"Arms fair?" comes the now predictable surprise, "There's an arms fair taking place here? In Ottawa? In Canada?"

"Yes, Canadian corporations produce much of the ammunition, weaponry, and support technology for the U.S. military and the Canadian Forces…"

Before I can continue to explain the major procurement contracts outlined by Canadian Military Magazine – related to the war on Afghanistan, security for the 2010 Olympics, and Northwest Passage defence – an angry police officer shoves me.

Half a dozen riot cops appear out of nowhere. They line the streets of Ottawa's business section. Protecting them is a line of well-equipped city police, and surrounding them on all sides are astonished looking business people. The Black Bloc is in on one side, the police on the other.

What has now become three days of actions and protests was sure to have made it clear to the nearly 7000 delegates attending this year's CANSEC that they are not welcome. Before the official trade show even began, fire alarms were pulled forcing the attendees of the black-tie kickoff to rush outdoors while police searched the building.

» continue reading "Can Sac CANSEC?"

April 1, 2008 Opinion

Manufactured Crises on Stolen Land

The Chalk River Reactor and the Kichesipirini Algonquin (part two of three)

March 5, 2008 Opinion

Lies, Omissions and Nuclear Waste

The Chalk River Reactor and the Kichesipirini Algonquin (part one of three)

January 30, 2008 Weblog:

Mohamed Harkat Arrested!!?

Mohamed Harkat, one of the "security certificate five" was arrested at his home while taking his morning shower yesterday. The stated reason on behalf of federal immigration authorities was the fact that his mother-in-law was not home at the time. His bail conditions stipulated that she remain living with Harkat and his wife. She still lives with both of them.

From Harkat's support committee:

MOHAMED HARKAT, SECURITY CERTIFICATE DETAINEE UNJUSTLY ARRESTED IN OTTAWA

What happened:

Mohamed Harkat was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Ottawa police
accompanied by Canadian Border Services agents at his home in Ottawa. CBSA alleges that Mohamed Harkat breached his bail conditions. In fact no breach occurred. The crown has 48 hours to bring him before a federal court judge. Mohamed Harkat is also already scheduled to appear in court next week to argue for changes in his bail conditions.

What you can do:

A) We ask organizations to issue statements along the lines of the following statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee.

Statement from the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee

1. There was no breach of Mohamed Harkat's bail conditions. This, despite the conditions imposed being the toughest in Canadian history.
2. The arrest's timing was highly questionable given the facts:
- Mohamed Harkat's bail is up for review next week;
- Bill C-3, the new Security Certificates law, is being debated this week in the House of Commons.
This arrest could only have happened by order of a cabinet Minister - which was confirmed to Mohamed Harkat by CBSA officials. It also occurred on the eve of Adil Charkaoui's Supreme Court appeal.
3. The arrest constitutes harassment in the context of an
unconstitutional law.

» continue reading "Mohamed Harkat Arrested!!?"

November 30, 2007 Weblog:

CRTC Awards Compensation to Citizen's Advocacy Group for Cost of Preparing Submission

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The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has won a major victory for Canadians who want a say in telecommunications policy in Canada. In Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2007-14 issued today, the CRTC upheld PIAC's request for compensation for the preparation of a submission to a public hearing on whether or not to eliminate regulatory constraints on telephone companies' basic rates.

The original public hearing (Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-10) was instigated in response to a letter from Bell Canada requesting deregulation of basic phone service fees. PIAC was strongly opposed to such a move, and included with its submission a request under s.44 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure for compensation for the costs of preparing its submission. Under s.44, the CRTC can award costs against a regulated company to an intervener who represents a class of subscribers with an interest in the outcome, who has participated in a responsible way, and who has contributed to a better understanding of the issues. The CRTC ordered that PIAC be compensated in the amount of $20,182.74.

» continue reading "CRTC Awards Compensation to Citizen's Advocacy Group for Cost of Preparing Submission"

October 3, 2007 Labour

Sheraton Ottawa is Workers’ Heartbreak Hotel

Sheraton Ottawa Launch First Strike at Hotel in 20 Years

September 28, 2007 Weblog:

Algonquin Canoe to Ottawa

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As anticipated in the photo essay about Algonquin resistance to uranium mining on their land, members of the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwan Algonquin Nations canoed to Ottawa to protest the planned uranium mines on Parliament Hill and demonstrate that the waters connect planned mines with downtown Ottawa.

August 24, 2007 Weblog:

More on police provocateurs

Much has already been written about the now front-page story of police provocateurs captured in a video posted on Youtube. The scandal has managed to cleanly separate the story of the protest from the story of the SPP itself, but it is definitely an unlikely story to have become front-page news.

» continue reading "More on police provocateurs"

August 21, 2007 Weblog:

Oddities from Montebello

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Canadian Energy and Paperworkers Union leader David Cole physically outs a police provocateur dressed as a black bloc protestor in front of news cameras in Montebello. [Update: Canadian Press report here]

SQ and OPP police protect the dead from the living for 7 hours on Monday.

» continue reading "Oddities from Montebello"

August 19, 2007 Weblog:

SPP: Attack of the left-out elites

The Liberal party, currently the confused chameleon of the Canadian political scene, is attempting to brand itself as an ardent critic of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership.

» continue reading "SPP: Attack of the left-out elites"

January 30, 2007 Weblog:

JTF2: Antisocial Operations

Today's Ottawa Citizen cover story about JTF2 contains a few nuggets of information:

The government wants the country's special forces units to be able to work more closely with similar units in the United States when reacting to incidents that potentially threaten North America. Canada's special forces will also play more of a role in training foreign militaries.

Emphasis added. JTF2's operations are completely secret, however, so there's no way of knowing who they're training, unless the government deigns to reveal it.

» continue reading "JTF2: Antisocial Operations"

January 15, 2007 Gender

"We are not a 'Special Interest' Group"

Feminist organizations nationwide are protesting the latest in a series of attacks on Status of Women Canada (SWC).

December 29, 2006 Weblog:

Tretiak

Tretiak, the most famous Commie hockey player possibly in history, is back on the ice in Canada.

March 23, 2006 Features

Non-Status Quo

non-status_fp.jpgAfter ten non-status Alergians and two supporters are found not guilty, Gordie Warnoff questions the reasons for the brutal arrests.

Years after being brutally arrested, ten non-status Algerians and two supporters are found not guilty

January 14, 2005 Health

Chiropractic Care "Delisted" in Ontario

Beginning on December 1st, 2004, chiropractic care will be taken off of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, leaving patients with substantial bills to pay. by Tanya Rakhmilevich

August 25, 2004 Ottawa

From the Lower End of Ottawa's Carrot Patch

Homeless Action Strike, other news

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